Oliver Cromwell is unique in British history. No figure has risen so high from such modest beginnings, and none has generated such intense and sharply-divided opinions among both contemporaries and succeeding generations. This book re-examines Cromwell's life and career. It opens with an assessment of the man and the myth, exploring the legends which surround Cromwell, the differing interpretations advanced by generations of historians and the source material upon which such interpretations can be based. The survey also includes thematic analyses of some key aspects of Cromwell, including his character and appearance, his political outlook and his religious beliefs. The majority of the study, however, is given over to a substantial, chronologically-based examination of his life and career, highlighting key events and turning points, and exploring in detail Cromwell's role and power as Lord Protector. Where possible, the analysis is based upon strictly contemporary material, especially Cromwell's own writings and speeches.
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